As the Internet becomes an integral part of people's daily life, career prospects in related industries are bright.
In a bid to become the leading online lifestyle media, ESDlife is currently seeking savvy creative talent to help promote its online services. This, as Tammy Lam, human resources manager, ESD Services Limited points out, is in line with the company's new business development direction.
ESD Services Limited was originally developed in 2001 to implement the government's electronic services delivery scheme and launch a bilingual portal, ESDlife, that would function as a platform for public and commercial electronic services and solutions.
In response to the increasing needs for a wider range of services, ESDlife is now revising its business direction — gradually developing from a government electronic services portal into a lifestyle media specialised in providing users with wedding, beauty, gourmet and travel information.
ESDlife currently has more than 400,000 members including 70,000 from its wedding-related sub-site, making it one of Hong Kong's most visible online lifestyle portals. "The wedding website is our first specialised channel and it has received an overwhelming response from our members and clients," Ms Lam says.
It was this positive response that encouraged the company to switch its business focus. "People learn about ESDlife mostly from our wedding content. It is only natural that we switched our business focus and developed a lifestyle website," she adds. "Dedicated websites for families and children will be next. We aim to provide people with a wealth of information relating to their different stages of life."
In addition to website content the company will also provide electronic commerce, IT services, online advertising and web solutions to meet client needs.
To satisfy its expansion and reflect its business development reshuffle, the company is now seeking web-developers, web-designers and account managers.
A web-developer is responsible for the design and development of web application features and the execution of web-based system development activities. A web-designer, by contrast, is in charge of providing creative ideas to clients and handling advertising jobs via the design and production of web-pages, advertising banners and flash games.
Recruits for these positions should ideally have university degrees, majoring in computer science or information technology. However, Ms Lam stresses that creativity and experience in web development and design will be the most sought-after qualifications.
As for account managers, they are responsible for the company's business development process. Successful candidates will establish and manage relationships with current and prospective clients, and collaborate with multidisciplinary teams to deliver solutions. "Because of the high level of communication involved, our account managers must be able to demonstrate good interpersonal and presentation skills," Ms Lam notes. Other prerequisites include a university degree, sound knowledge of the Internet and experience in marketing and business development.
Given the industry's high-profile and the favourable economic environment, some companies face challenges recruiting first-class employees who have the right mixture of talent and experience. In a bid to attract and retain quality people, ESDlife has developed its own recruitment and retention strategies.
For instance, to identify potential recruits, as well as running print advertisements, ESDlife also utilises an employee referral programme, and participates in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's preferred graduate development programme.
To help new recruits adapt as quickly as possible to their new work environment, ESDlife has designed a mentoring programme in which an experienced member of staff is assigned to help familiarise the new recruit with the company's culture and colleagues.
Regular training and professional development programmes are also provided. These include work competence, IT, sales and marketing, as well as other skills and knowledge enhancement programmes.
To retain high-performing talent, ESDlife takes several approaches. "We endeavour to cultivate a caring culture that emphasises the significance of work-life balance," Ms Lam says. There is also the possibility of job rotation and internal transfers within the Hutchinson Whampoa group, one of ESDlife's initial establishers. Salary reviews are also regularly conducted to make sure the company stays competitive in the jobmarket.
"Those considering a career in IT should contemplate whether they have the flexibility, creativity and passion they need to adapt to and succeed in the fast-paced and dynamic environment," Ms Lam advises.